Portland is at it again. The proposed city budget includes changes to the “pay per bag” system. The cost of trash bags is slated to increase 35 percent in one year.

The justification was that even though it is a large increase for one year, it brings us in line with surrounding communities. Excuse me – I didn’t realize that the City Council was responsible for what surrounding communities are doing. The 35 percent increase in cost is insane.

Each time a change in cost happens, there is the question of what to do with the “old bags” from the previous year. The answer is obvious. Residents should be able to use their remaining trash bags until they are gone.

Apparently, there is a plan being discussed to only allow residents to use the old trash bags for one month and then require residents to “trade in” the remaining bags for new bags from this year. I’ve asked if residents would be asked to pay the difference in costs and was told “no.”

Why the exchange? Portland is the city that imposed a 5-cent fee (tax) for each disposable bag used at grocery stores, corner stores, restaurants etc., because they were concerned with plastic in the waste stream.

It seems to be hypocritical to be concerned with grocery bags but not the plastic trash bag waste. Do the right thing and use common sense.

Mark Reilly